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The Death of Innocence : The Untold Story of JonBenet's Murder and How Its Exploitation Compromised the Pursuit of Truth Hardcover – March 17, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Part memoir, part murder mystery and part diatribe, this book targets socially conservative Christians, but much of its content will undoubtedly engender sympathy in a broader audience. In response to three years of allegations that they killed their daughter, the Ramseys have written their side of the story, refuting the myriad accusations leveled against them and replacing them with their own recollections of events. These recollections paint a more than plausible picture of a family victimized at first by the horrific murder of a young child and then by a relentless media and police campaign to smear their reputations and prove their guilt. There is a whiff of narcissism in their tendency to refer to themselves in the third person; detailed descriptions of their homes, clothing and other possessions add to this impression. The Ramseys do, however, acknowledge that their wealth, now mostly gone, has protected them from the wrongful incarceration that many Americans endure. The Ramseys' attempt to set the record straight is at times tiresome, especially when they predictably complain about liberals who hate them because they are successful. But as we read their account of the hellishness of their lives since their daughter's murder, we realize that nothing about this situation has ever been fair and simply mourn that they had occasion to write this book at all. 16-page photo insert. Author appearances on 20/20, Today and Larry King Live.
Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
John Ramsey is the former president of Access Graphics, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which grossed more than one billion dollars in sales of computer products in December 1996. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a master's in business. He was an elder at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
Patsy Ramsey graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism and marketing. In 1977, she represented West Virginia in the Miss America Pageant. She worked for McCann Erickson Advertising and Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. in Atlanta before marrying John Ramsey. She has served as a volunteer, organizing projects such as the Egleston Children's Hospital Christmas card sale, which raised nearly $100,000, and a "Good Fairy" project that raised thousands of dollars for Boulder public schools.Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
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Top Customer Reviews
As far as guilt or innocence, I believe that the media can take something simple and turn it into whatever they want. It is hard to make people change their minds once they are set on believing something. I feel badly that Patsy was never able to find the killer of her daughter before she passed. We all can only hope that one day that person will be brought to trial for the crime.
Although a very interesting read, I can't help but feel that the Ramsey's are trying too hard to prove their innocence. I don't doubt that the police made many mistakes in this case and that the media were out to get them, but they just needed to present the facts as they knew them - not spend pages and pages trying to prove their innocence.
In the end, I started to believe them. As they state many times in the book "if a lie is told often enough and loud enough, people will start to believe it"... and I feel that's what they might be trying to do.
I'm now reading the book written by one of the detectives and it paints a very different picture, so I'm seeing things from both sides of the story. If interested in this case, it's a must.
Overall, a good read but goes on far too long.
What is the evidence that Burke Ramsey killed JonBenet and his parents covered it up? All circumstantial. But compelling nonetheless. Burke had hit JonBenet in the mouth with a golf club previously, hard enough that her parents took her to a plastic surgeon because they feared her beauty pageant good looks would be spoiled. By all accounts he was a solitary kid who didn't like to be disturbed when he was playing. When he surfaced recently for an interview with Dr Phil McGraw, he left the impression of a high functioning autistic with a strange affect (smiling inappropriately when speaking of his sister's death). His parents managed to shield him from effective interrogation at the time, but the interview has many haunting and creepy aspects. The autopsy found fragments of pineapple in JonBenet's upper small intestine. Recently eaten, not digested. In the crime scene video, on the kitchen table there is a white bowl. Looks like there is pineapple in it. Patsy Ramsey's fingerprints are on it. The Ramseys absolutely state JonBenet was asleep in the car and got put to bed upon returning home from the Christmas party. Didn't have a snack of pineapple. That lie ties them to the murder in a direct way.
The Boulder police department botched the investigation from the beginning. Ramsey gets that part right. And the adversarial relationship between BPD and the DA's office served Ramsey's obfuscating coverup well. Likewise, the assault by numerous tabloid "journalists" of the Ramsey's privacy led to inappropriate leaking of information that would have aided a competent investigation had it remained confidential. By the same token, the Ramseys invited it by their outrageous CNN interview in Atlanta, before they had given formal statements to the police. The unintended consequence was to focus more attention on themselves, not less. John Ramsey lawyered up within hours of the discovery, had his own private investigators talking to witnesses, tried to leave the city by air the afternoon of the same day. And he is surprised that people view that with suspicion? To paraphrase Shakespeare, the gentleman doth protest too much.
The book is a mishmash of the murder timeline with points of view alternating between the parents, with a sprinkling of flashbacks to their lives before it all happened. John Ramsey lost a daughter in a car accident. Patsy survived (at the time) stage 4 ovarian cancer. Cue the violins. Did they abuse and/or hurt their daughter? Likely not, although JonBenet's persistent bedwetting and fecal soiling led police to appropriately pursue the possibility of sexual abuse, because that kind of behavior is a red flag in many cases. Team Ramsey cost John much of his family fortune, another unintended consequence. Hence, the need to generate cash flow by writing this (and one other) book. He also offers his own wild profiler description of the alleged intruder. Let's demolish that. He asks us to believe that the killer carefully plotted out the attack. It was not a spur of the moment crime. He makes a lot of the trace amounts of unidentified male DNA found on JonBenet's clothes and body. A subsequent Boulder DA thought it cleared the Ramseys and wrote a public letter of apology for viewing them as suspects, even though their own non-cooperative behavior amplified suspicion. Funny thing, after all this time, that DNA has been in the CODIS database and hasn't generated any matches. So it seems that the mystery intruder didn't ever encounter the criminal justice system. JonBenet was enough to satisfy him, even though he got away with it. Never again abducted or abused a female child. How likely is that? The recent CBS documentary rather easily demonstrates how foreign DNA can be detected in an unopened article of underwear. So it's a red herring. Likewise the stun gun hypothesis. Only in Hollywood do stun guns cause unconsciousness. Watch any of the many YouTube videos showing stun guns being demonstrated on police officers or civilians. They scream bloody murder and try to evade it. And the marks left on the skin bear zero resemblance to the double punctate abrasions seen on JonBenet's neck and back. A more likely source of the abrasions would have been a piece of Burke's railroad track, which had a gauge the same width as the skin injuries. Then there is the famous ransom note, composed on Patsy's notepad with her felt tip pen, neatly replaced in its holder. Think of it: you are a desperate criminal who has just murdered a six year old in her own home. You leave a three page note on a staircase long after you brought the child down them. Only a gymnast could have stepped over the note on the twisting staircase without leaving a footprint on it. The note could possibly tie you to the scene. You have carefully planned this crime and cleaned up after yourself. You wrapped the body in a blanket, put loosely tied cord on her wrists that wouldn't restrain a baby, duct taped her mouth after she was dead (no tongue markings on the inside of the tape, a signature of pre-mortem struggle). But you leave the note, even though you must know the body will be found and no ransom paid. Doesn't pass the smell test. The scene was staged, and the killer had no reason to do so if he was a stranger. Likewise the exit though the basement. Could have unlocked the front door and walked away. But didn't. And negotiated the narrow space without disturbing spider webs and leafy debris in the window well. Does not compute. Three people in the house that night could have done this. They likely all played a role. Barring a confession, the case will remain unsolved.
For contrast, and to learn about inconvenient facts omitted by John Ramsey, read "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town," by Lawrence Schiller or "JonBenet: Inside the Ramsey Murder Investigation'" by Steve Thomas. Watch the 2016 CBS documentary. It does to the "intruder" theory what Gerald Posner did to the JFK conspiracy buffs in "Case Closed." John Ramsey's play acting is despicable. He would do better to just shut up about the whole thing.